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Open AccessArticle

Sick Enough? Mental Illness and Service Eligibility for Homeless Individuals at the Border

1
Department of Sociology, Bentley University, Waltham, MA 02452, USA
2
Department of Sociology, American University, Washington, DC 20016, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(8), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9080145
Received: 16 June 2020 / Revised: 6 August 2020 / Accepted: 10 August 2020 / Published: 14 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reshaping the World: Rethinking Borders)
This paper measures mental illness among individuals experiencing homelessness in a border city and compares it to the general housed population. We use original data from a homeless survey conducted in El Paso, Texas. Respondents self-reported any possible mental illness or related symptoms. We find that mental illness is not disproportionally common among the homeless, yet this is something that is often claimed by laypersons, some social service workers, and some researchers that limit sampling to institutionalized settings where formal mental illness is often among the prerequisites for admission. We find that “severe mental illness” among homeless persons is 6.2% (only around 2–3% higher than the general population), and “any mental illness” is 20.8% (only 1–3% higher than in the general population). Our results are consistent with other research focusing on street samples. View Full-Text
Keywords: homelessness; mental health; point in time; diagnosis homelessness; mental health; point in time; diagnosis
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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.1177/2329496518812451
    Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/2329496518812451
    Description: Links to previous publication with copy of the survey and class syllabus.
MDPI and ACS Style

Smith, C.; Castañeda, E. Sick Enough? Mental Illness and Service Eligibility for Homeless Individuals at the Border. Soc. Sci. 2020, 9, 145. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9080145

AMA Style

Smith C, Castañeda E. Sick Enough? Mental Illness and Service Eligibility for Homeless Individuals at the Border. Social Sciences. 2020; 9(8):145. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9080145

Chicago/Turabian Style

Smith, Curtis; Castañeda, Ernesto. 2020. "Sick Enough? Mental Illness and Service Eligibility for Homeless Individuals at the Border" Soc. Sci. 9, no. 8: 145. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9080145

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